POLICE smashed their way through a front door during an early morning drugs raid in Basildon.

After battering down the front door of the property in Mistley Side, officers seized a large haul of cannabis and arrested a 37-year-old man inside on suspicion of drug offences.

Andrew Baggott, leader of Basildon Council, welcomed the “excellent work” done by police to crackdown on drug dealing across the area.

He said: “I would like to thank the police for their excellent efforts in tackling drugs in the borough.

“They have positively embraced our stance on cracking down on this scourge and I appreciate the hard work they are putting in with more to come.

“This builds on our investment in the wardens to patrol our estates, support the public and the community, in this vital campaign.”

Basildon Council recently hired private security guards to patrol estates blighted by antisocial behaviour and drug dealing.

The guards are equipped with body cameras and wear high-vis uniform to act as a visible deterrent.

Kerry Smith, councillor representing the Nethermayne Ward where the arrest was made, has urged police to continue targetting drug dealers.

He said: “It is always a positive step to here police are taking action.

“But you do often smell drugs here, and even see people dealing.

“One arrest in the ward is welcome but still so much more needs doing.

“I just don’t think the people involved in drugs supply have any care.

“Trying to catch these people is the hard part, but it is good to hear of another arrest.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A man has been arrested in Mistley Side as part of an investigation into drug supply after a large quantity of cannabis was seized.

“Our assistant chief con, Rachel Nolan, was alongside officers from Billericay and Wickford CPT, the town centre team, and Basildon LPT as the warrant was executed on Thursday.

“A 37-year-old man was questioned on suspicion of drug offences and has been released under investigation.”